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International young leaders in sustainability will be recognized on Oct. 18 at Eco-Age’s first-ever Renaissance Awards.
Founded by longtime eco-fashion activist Livia Firth in 2009, Eco-Age — a sustainability and communications agency that provides real-world solutions to brands looking to improve their supply-chains — is committed to sparking a green renaissance. They also use innovative technology and media formats to rethink the awards landscape.
Unlike a typical awards show, the inaugural Renaissance Awards are taking on a cinematic format, with a film presentation produced by Pulse Films Italia and directed by Grammy-nominated Giorgio Testi. The film takes place within an augmented reality at the landmark Palazzo Vecchio town hall in Florence, and includes celebrity appearances from stars such as Gisele Bundchen, Colin Firth (who was previously married to Livia), Annie Lennox and Nile Rodgers.
As the name suggests, the awards will celebrate what Eco-Age refers to as the “Second Renaissance,” or a new age of sustainability for fresh ideas and perspectives that it hopes will change our society. The renaissance theme was largely inspired by Amanda Gorman’s moving poetry reading at President Biden’s inauguration ceremony earlier this year, when the young scholar declared it to be “Year Zero” — a fresh start for the world on both a social and environmental level. The event will be honoring young, rising stars in the sustainability sphere for their achievements and efforts toward creating a brighter future.
“The power of storytelling is immense,” says Firth, who comes from a background of documentary production. “If we want to overcome our world’s many problems, facts are not enough. Facts won’t persuade people who don’t believe in climate change. Facts won’t persuade people who think economic growth or technology will solve our problems.”
She continues: “What unlocks new possibility is story. The Renaissance Awards tells these new stories with the hope that they will inspire new behavior.”
Firth is known for serving as an executive producer on fast-fashion documentary The True Cost, in addition to founding the Green Carpet Challenge (GCC), a sustainability initiative that aims to combine glamour and eco-friendly materials in the fashion world. In recent years, several stars have supported the GCC by sporting sustainable brands on red carpets, including Penelope Cruz, Olivia Colman, Thandiwe Newton, Cate Blanchett and Michael Fassbender.
As for the focus on young leaders who are fighting against global challenges, Firth expresses that “they are the future.” Inspired by the work of young activists like Gorman and Greta Thunberg, the Renaissance Awards emphasize the parallels between the first Renaissance and the emerging one, as new ideas and movements are spearheaded by the coming generations.
“They are the ones who are going to be affected by our inaction and they are not going to let us do that,” Firth adds. “They take on global challenges in a very different way from how we did it, or generations before us. They do it with intersectionality at heart, knowing we cannot solve one problem without looking at them all.”
In recent years, Firth’s mission has reached new heights, as she continues to expand Eco-Age’s reach beyond that of just the fashion industry. Previously, the sustainability agency has hosted the Green Carpet Fashion Awards in partnership with the National Chamber of Italian Fashion, an event to promote a more eco-friendly approach to designer fashion in Hollywood.
Above all, the founder emphasizes that the goal of the awards show is to “remind people about their power, about the fact that even though they call us consumers, we are citizens first and foremost.”
Awards recipients will receive an NFT as their prize for their achievements in sustainability. The Renaissance Awards will be distributed by SKY in all SKY territories and on other global platforms across the world on Oct. 18.
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